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Naomi O'Leary   @NaomiOhReally

Infuriatingly, it's too late: this misinformation has already spread all over the world from Australia to the United States to India. Her name, #noapothoven is even trending in Italy.

I spoke to Paul Bolwerk, a reporter who has been covering the story for @DeGelderlander since 2018. Noa Pothoven had been severely ill with anorexia and other conditions for some time. Without telling her parents, she sought and was refused euthanasia.

The family had tried many kinds of psychiatric treatment and Noa Pothoven was repeatedly hospitalised; she made a series of attempts to kill herself in recent months. In desperation the family sought electro shocktherapy, which was refused due to her young age.

After electroshock therapy was refused, Pothoven insisted she wanted no further treatment and a hospital bed was set up at home in the care of her parents. At the start of June she began refusing all fluids and food, and her parents and doctors agreed not to force feed her.

A decision to move to palliative care and not to force feed at the request of the patient is not euthanasia.

Dutch media did not report Noa Pothoven's death as a case of euthanasia. This idea only appeared in English language pickups of Dutch reporting.

How has this happened? @newscomauHQ and @laubchad have questions to answer, as authors of early English-language articles that made a leap to conclude euthanasia from the report that Pothoven once asked for it, and an Instagram post in which she wrote that she was going to die.


A new poll shows a clear majority of New Zealanders want to allow doctors to help the terminally ill to die painlessly and with dignity

14 MAY 2019

See the media release and blog post.

Supporters can submit a blog post here 



#TellYourMP   It’s important your MP knows how you feel on this issue. Tell your MP here and see how else you can get involved.



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